3 Tips to Creating Successful Mental Health Policies That Align with Hiring

two women smiling on a couch mental health in the workplace

In this candidate market — many recruiters are feeling the heat and frankly burning out along the way. The good news is that May is a time to reassess plans, create space for flexibility and make time for everyone’s mental health. 

Top reasons employees are leaving their jobs include burnout (40%), organizational changes (34%), and lack of flexibility (20%). Good talent acquisition leaders need to act with empathy, set up their employees and managers for success, and allow room for employee programs that build community. Lever is putting that last sentence into action every day.

Here are our top tips to prioritize your employees’ mental health this month.

Tip #1 — Start from the top-down through leading and listening

One of our core values is “champion cross-functional empathy.” By living this value, we are empathetic towards what others may be experiencing—co-workers, customers, prospects, or candidates. And this is done even though many of our jobs are different from one another. This empathy starts with listening, so our leaders regularly conduct listening tours, inviting our employees to tell them what they need (or don’t need!) in the workplace to operate at their best. 

What our leadership team recently heard was: the need for more schedule flexibility, work-from-home enhancements, easier interaction with work-from-home platforms, and complimentary access to Headspace, Calm, and other wellbeing apps. We delivered on these asks, including adding additional days off to enable employees to take more time off to prevent burnout. 

As TA leaders, are you spending time listening to what your recruiters need to be successful? How can you make the difficult job of finding strong talent easier for them? What technology are you missing to alleviate any burnout?

Tip #2 — Create community from the bottom up

During the more isolating remote work period, many of our employees turned to our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) for a sense of connection and community around shared interests and identities. Our “Simple Machines” ERG is focused on healthy brains, healthy bodies, and overall well-being.

Peer-led, Simple Machines exists to spotlight company resources, provide space for members to connect and share physical and mental health challenges and victories, and to organize awareness and educational programs for the entire company in celebration of observance events like Mental Health Awareness Month in May and World Mental Health Day on Monday, October 10th. 

  • Talk about your ERGs in the hiring process
  • Advocate for community and support every new hire to gain a competitive edge in today’s labor market

Tip #3 — Include mental health initiatives through benefits

“Both prior to and during the pandemic, we’ve all experienced feelings of increased stress and anxiety,” says Sam Beales, founder of Benefluent. “Employers who truly care about the well-being of their people have responded by providing impactful resources that are designed to improve the overall mental health and wellness of their employees.”

According to Sam at Benefluent, many employers are moving towards more modern, flexible benefits and support, like:

  • Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP)—Sam describes an EFAP as a front line or triage resource for work-related and personal issues that employees and their family members encounter. This could be anything from stress & anxiety to improving one’s diet, quitting smoking, or finding child/elder care resources that are better suited for you. InkBlot Therapy is one example of such a resource that Canadian employers can leverage for this.
  • Meaningful Access to Mental Health Practitioners—In order to offer employees more time and treatment, many employers have increased the annual limitations specific to psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and other mental health practitioners. “Instead of a $500 or $750 annual maximum, we’re now seeing $1,500 to $2,000 annual maximums on top of the initial triage services offered through an EFAP,” says Sam.
  • Retirement Savings Programs—Financial stress and mental well-being are more closely related than many employers realize. A study from Purdue University is a testament to this. As we emerge from the pandemic, this concept is being proven correct and compounded by the economic and inflationary factors that are impacting our standard of living. Employers who invest in their employees by way of a company matching retirement savings program are not only encouraging them to plan for a secure future, they’re improving the mental health of their teams.
  • Ancillary Perks—Encouraging employees to be active, healthy & mindful not only leads to happier people, it creates more efficient teams. Some applications you could provide to employees to help with this are:

There are so many other benefits providers popping up to help employers in the HR tech space to support a more healthy workforce. We also like Carrot, which is opening the door to fertility for every employee, and Level, which Lever recently implemented to re-design our benefits built for the future of work.

That’s just the beginning—continue the work to prioritize mental health in the workplace

As the pandemic continues to evolve, so will our work lives and the factors and triggers that impact our mental health. But by championing empathy and leading with listening, we’re confident Lever can support our employees through company and peer-led programming. 

To learn more about how to prioritize wellbeing amongst your recruiting team and with hiring, read our latest posts on checking in on the mental health of your talent team and 5 tips to avoiding recruiter burnout. Stay tuned as well for more tips throughout the month here and on our social media channels.